Agriculture industry can make good use of innovative and immersive technology like augmented reality to transform operational as well as business processes.
AR, short for Augmented Reality, is gaining momentum across industries of the world. Brace yourself for the major advancement in immersive technology that will revolutionise the world. You may have played AR games, but now AR is going to play a major role in your life, right from interactions with people to how businesses function. It is predicted that in the next decade augmented reality will play the same role which smartphones played in around 2005. In this article, we are going to see how synergies of AR can be combined with those of farming to improve and meet our ever-increasing global food demands.
Augmented reality in agriculture
Be it agriculture or any other industry, AR has widespread applications. Smartphones with a fast internet connection have penetrated tier 2 and tier 3 cities and are used by young and old alike. With the help of these smartphones as a medium or a user agent, augmented reality applications will be widely adopted and be the next big thing. Imagine a farmer training in an institute or consulting experts right from his field with the help of AR applications, where his phone highlights and displays the quality and composition of the crops; or imagine a farmer analysing sensor data of the field sitting at his home, AR has unlimited applications to think about. The emerging technology is already being developed for consumer applications. It’s extension to the agriculture industry is already in R&D and applications for end use by farmers is not far away.
Thinking about new possible and immersive scenarios in farming
You may have heard about or even used Google Lens. You can point at some object and get the detail (metadata) of the object from the web. With artificial intelligence and smart image recognition systems one can compare the actual image with billions of resources on the web, just in a matter of seconds. Augmented reality brings all this in the user’s field of vision instead, augmented over actual images instead of going back to a resource on computer. There are some applications on mobile app stores which can recognise a flower or a plant, just by pointing your camera at it.
Now imagine a farmer who has a smartphone, uses an augmented reality-based artificial intelligence application specifically designed for farmers. He will just put his phone in front of the plant and it will give him all details regarding soil moisture, plant integrity and health, and estimated time to germination all within his field of vision. He might even be able to spot weeds from healthy plants and uproot right greens making for an effective farming technique.
Or even better, imagine a farmer wearing some slick-looking sunglasses which has an inbuilt camera and required sensors, it is connected with his phone. All the recordings are immediately sent to his smartphone for processing and augmented information will be sent back to his smart glasses in just fraction of seconds. It is like farmers having an AI like Jarvis to assist them!
Skill based knowledge transfer in agriculture with AR
Due to the pandemic, we see recent spikes in the quantity and quality of online education. All the displays, be it TV, Smartphones or Personal computers, are now occupied by learning resources and online classes most of the times.
Now imagine a farming school, where students use AR glasses or even their tablet displays to get real-time guidance for farming on a ground. It will be a really practical teaching method which they can use to effectively learn to farm.
Also imagine a farmer, teaching the kids in real-time as he goes on about his daily activities on the farm. With help of AR applications, a real-time feed can be provided to students wearing AR headsets. It will provide them with the live experience which the kids from 90s would never get from the books. Live training, visual guidance, accurate instructions and much more at your disposal, for a better quality of education. AR puts a serious dent in a culture where mugging up is presented as a higher standard of education. E-learning based on augmented reality will be the new normal, and practise based industry like agriculture will take huge benefits from it.